A Letter to My EDM 310 Students

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wikimetro - The Changing Face of Advertising

Miranda Hill (TT9) just emailed me to inquire about an email she received from Wikimetro.org. Others of you may have received a similar email.

From what I can gather, wikimetro.org is an intermediary for advertising on blogs. Wikimetro searches for blogs in cities over 40,000 in size and invites blog owners to participate in their advertising efforts. They also try and sell ads to local businesses , collect the advertising fees, maintain a wiki for that metro area, process credit cards for the advertising fee and deduct the 3% charged by Visa or MasterCard, keep 5% for their efforts and pass along about 92% to the blog owner IF the blog owner adds an ad to their blog for 30 days without interruption with a link to the advertiser's web site that works.

Wikimetro apparently believes that local advertising is moving from newspapers to electronic sources. That is the central belief behind Google and I think they are both correct. Who will make the advertising money as and when that happens is still to be seen. Wikimetro is hoping to move quickly and become the advertiser of choice for local communities. Their wiki will supply (they hope) enough local information to make them useful to advertisers. Since wikis depend on a wide populace to produce content, content is no longer a cost item (like reporters are today). So this is a direct attack on newspapers. If you read the Mobile Press Register you will know that it is getting smaller and smaller. The advertising is way down. Some of this is because of the economy. Much of it is because they are losing readers to electronic media. They have responded by trying to establish an electronic"version" of newspapers in Alabama (AL.com) but no one really knows how the commercial advertising market will evolve. Wikimetro.org is an experiment to find the future to local commercial advertising.

I have no objection to your participating in this effort, but not from your class blog. Start another blog for that purpose if you wish. Google also has a plan to pay you for ads on your blog. Explore that as well if you are interested. You might even make some money.

1 comment:

catherine todd said...

Excellent explanation and much appreciated.

I just received an email from this group and had no idea what was going on. Google search showed things like "Is wikimetro a scam?" and more along these lines. Your report seems balanced and fair and makes a lot more sense. I like the idea of WikiMetro quite a bit, and may try it out after all. Their layout looks good. I just wish they had been more forthcoming about how they got my email address and what they were doing, instead of just sending me this note:

Dear Catherinetodd,

Tell everyone what's happening in Durham today(just hit reply to this email), so we can post it on the Durham wikimetro page so everyone can see. Here's where it shows up http://www.wikimetro.org/nc_durham/pages

John H
Cust Serv
Wikimetro lets you post local classified ads, and add your blog to our blogad marketplace to accept blog advertising.

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